Monday, September 19, 2011

Sometimes it's the smallest things.

My weekends are disappearing like the leaves soon will. Not that I'm having a bad time but my birding is suffering. I bet I've already missed many shorebirds I wanted. Last time it was work. A really big job I was working on ended up shooting in Florida. That was all well and good except none of the birds I saw were of any use to either my big year or my film. What's worse is that when I returned, there was no time to go birding. My kids were starting school and I'm pretty sure if I had said to my wife that I was heading out to hunt down some shorebirds a day after being away in sunny warm Florida for 5 days, I may not only have been met with resistance but also a bullet to the face, or two. Rachel is a very understanding lady for sure but that may have been too much.

I also love liquor.

I threw up in this thing. Not my fault, he flew sideways, often.

I didn't throw up in this one. No sideways flying.

First day of school. How cool is that car?

My little girl.

My little dude.
This weekend it was something much smaller than a photo shoot that kept me from birding. Not small so much as microscopic. The common cold virus. After four days at school my daughter came home with a runny nose. Followed by a night of zero sleep. Then, two days later, Shep was down with the same thing. That friggin' train is never late. I don't know what it is but men (from 2 yrs. and on) can be such sucks. I know I am when I'm sick. Rachel just seems to handle being sick better than me. She says it's because women have to deal with pregnancy and nothing is worse than that. A cold renders me completely useless. Turns out Shep is an apple that fell close to the tree. He went to bed saying his throat hurt. Two hours later (11 pm) he was up again. And he never went back to sleep until about 7 am. Rachel spent most of the night with him. I subbed in about 4 am.

Food from our garden.

The day before he was sick, he helped clean the carrots and parsnips.

More food from our garden. Well cleaned by Shep.

Needless to say, there'd be no birding happening. So, with Shep flat on the couch in front of Netflix and Georgia just getting over her cold, we needed to find something to do in the house. CANNING! Yes, canning. As many of you know we moved to the country last October. There are many reasons why but one was to depend less on grocery stores and that whole terrible food chain. We started growing lots of our own food and shopped only at farms for local food. But as the birds leave us, so does the fresh food. No we grab an extra bunch of fresh vegetables each time we hit the farm. This time it would be tomatoes. I bought an entire bushel of Roma tomatoes for 7 dollars. We spent the day blanching, peeling, coring and stewing them. We also made salsa. It was a ton of work but it'll save us lots of money and trips to the grocery store when it's minus 30 degrees out.

Spicy mixed pickles. Mmmmmmm.

I really need to do more birding. I'm sinking into the hole again of feeling I'm not doing enough toward this film. This week I'll spend my 2 hours a day of commuting on the train watching footage I've shot so far. There's a few things more that need doing. One is a trip to coffee plantations to show how incredibly bad it is to drink non-bird-friendly coffee. In a nutshell (because I can't help plug this any chance I get), you MUST drink Birds and Beans. If not, you are directly supporting the clear-cutting of forests in coffee growing nations. And buying shade-grown isn't enough. All they need is one tall tree to get shade certification. That certainly won't support an ecosystem that once was acres of forest. Buy Birds and beans. If you take nothing from anything I am doing with Punk Rock Big Year, at least do that. Sorry for the ranting.

Ok, so this week, send good thoughts my way, thoughts of sharp needles going into skin and beautiful (new) birds in my bins.

Paul Riss
Punk Rock Big Year

1 comment:

  1. i don't think i can collect any insurance if i shoot you directly in the face. must look into that.
    like anything else in our life hon, you must schedule. get out the calendar and grab some time this weekend before its booked up...great post, love the pics xo
    the wife.